Center for American Progress

RELEASE: CAP Immigration Principles for 2010 and Beyond
Press Release

RELEASE: CAP Immigration Principles for 2010 and Beyond

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, December 21, the Center for American Progress releases ‘CAP Immigration Principles for 2010 and Beyond: Recommendations for a Workable Immigration System’. Additionally, CAP VP for immigration policy, Angela Kelley, will participate in a telephonic press conference this afternoon with leaders from the immigration reform movement to discuss achievements thus far and the road ahead for reform. More information on the call below.

A key element of the Center for American Progress’s progressive vision is integrating immigrants into our increasingly diverse nation.

CAP offers five major recommendations in a new report to guide the congressional immigration debate. These recommendations will sharpen the focus on a comprehensive immigration policy that secures our economy, protects our borders, and safeguards the rights of all workers. Read full report here.

“Promises to repair the broken immigration system played an important role in the 2008 elections. With President Barack Obama and Congress preparing to carry out that commitment, CAP offers this plan of action that promotes strong families, secure communities, and a competitive workforce,” said Angela Kelley, CAP Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy.

CAP recommends:

Goal: Create legal channels that are flexible, serve the U.S. interest, and curtail illegal immigration.

Recommendation: Enhance legal immigration channels by creating a discretionary pool of visas that can be allocated flexibly. The annual number would be based on the difference between average legal immigration admissions and average actual immigrations over the last 15 years.

Goal: Establish smart enforcement policies and safeguards.

Recommendation: Focus on both the border and the workplace. Smart enforcement at the border should be aimed at disrupting drug and human trafficking while also installing an employment verification system that meets accuracy and privacy benchmarks to protect workers.

Goal: Protect U.S. workers from globalization’s destabilizing effects.

Recommendation: Employ an array of measures to target bad actor employers and ensure an even playing field. Worksite enforcement must be combined with stiffer penalties against employers who violate labor laws.

Goal: Resolve the status of those illegally present in the United States.

Recommendation: Create a tough but realistic program to register undocumented immigrants. Applicants should undergo background checks, learn English, pay taxes, and pay a fine in order to obtain legal status for themselves, their spouses, and minor children. Those convicted of serious crimes or posing a security threat should be barred.

Goal: Foster an inclusive American identity.

Recommendation: Invest in turning newcomers into new Americans. English language learning, civic education, and volunteerism should be promoted.

Read full report here.